During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after the monsoon rains (June – August), have a delicate fragrance and are highly sought after during the festival season in July-September. It was a simple, yet mesmerizingly beautiful weave and he agreed to let me record it on my flip video.
Based on a series of questions I ask him (on camera, in Konkani), he shows us a portion of the woven braid. All those buds will yield about 10 feet of braid and take him an hour to weave. Notice the thread, it is actually a fiber pulled from the bark of the banana tree and kept soaked in water. Very eco-friendly.
These braids will be sold in the marketplace (see Kumta marketplace) and usually end up in temples or family shrines. Women clip these or tuck them in their hair. The market rate for these braids is about Rs 50-Rs 100/ft ($1-$2/ft), but can be significantly higher during festival seasons. The beauty of the braids is in the buds; once they bloom the braids are considered done.
Here you see such Jaaii-kaLe braids offered to the Nāg Devata at a small shrine in Kumta.
Few other Videos:
- Approaching Kumta on the Konkan Railway
- Making Ganna Ras in Colaba, Mumbai.
- Making Puran Polis – A South Indian delicacy.
- Making Rava Dosa and Masala Dosas